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Video service Vessel to wind down following Verizon acquisition

By | Published on Friday 28 October 2016

Vessel

US internet firm Verizon has bought streaming video start-up Vessel with bold plans to, erm, well, shut it down. Good times.

Vessel was founded by two former chiefs at American TV-on-demand service Hulu and offered short-form video with the USP that users had to pay to get access to the very latest content. The hope was that it might persuade the YouTube generation to start paying to watch online videos, and Warner and Universal were among the music companies who signed-up to experiment with the new service. But, despite a lot of hype at launch, Vessel didn’t seem to maintain the momentum.

Verizon is interested in the firm’s technology rather than its current service, with a blog post from Vessel explaining: “At the heart of this transaction is the Vessel technology, product and team that we have built. These three things will be married with Verizon’s ambitions in online video. Though the team, and the actual tech and product, will live on at Verizon in ways that will become apparent in the months and years ahead, sadly we will be sun-setting the Vessel service at the end of this month”.

Subscribers to the service will get a pro-rata refund back to the start of October, so their last month of Vesseling will be gratis. Co-founder Richard Tom will become CTO for Verizon’s expanding digital entertainment operations, though the other founder, Jason Kilar, will “ensure a smooth transition through the end of this year” and then seemingly move on to another short-form adventure.



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